Research just published in the EFP’s Journal of Clinical Periodontology (JCP) shows an association between periodontitis and worse outcomes in patients with Covid-19.

The study involved 568 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 between February and July 2020. Of these, 40 had complications (ICU admission, ventilator requirement or death). 

Information was collected on gum disease and other factors that might be associated with the Covid-19 complications, including body mass index (BMI), smoking, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Data were also obtained on blood levels of chemicals related to inflammation in the body.

Among the 258 patients who presented with periodontitis, 33 experienced Covid-19 complications while only seven of the 310 patients without periodontitis experienced complications.

The researchers, from Qatar, Canada, and Spain said that if a causal link was established between periodontitis and increased rates of adverse outcomes in Covid-19 patients, “then establishing and maintaining periodontal health may become an important part of the care of these patients.”

The results of the study suggest that the inflammation in the oral cavity may open the door to the coronavirus becoming more violent and oral care should be part of the health recommendations to reduce the risk for severe Covid-19 outcomes.

Reference:  Marouf N, Cai W, Said KN, et al. Association between periodontitis and severity of COVID-19 infection: a case-control study. J Clin Periodontol. 2021. doi:10.1111/jcpe.13435. 

Blair Morgan

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